Palatine Park District wants to replace bridges in sections of popular trail
Palatine Park District has received a $200,000 state grant that would be used to help pay for replacement of two bridges and other work for sections of a popular regional bicycle and pedestrian trail that officials say long have been needed.
Officials said the project would improve Palatine Trail, an off-road path connecting major destinations and green spaces within and bordering the village, such as Deer Grove Forest Preserve.
In addition, the 25-mile Palatine path links to surrounding communities and is part of Illinois Bike Trails and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's regional greenways and trails. The project would include upgrades for a Salt Creek bridge west of a Hicks Road underpass and another span over the water just north of Palatine Public Library.
Park board commissioners recently approved the $708,031 project, which would be about $49,000 below what was budgeted.
With the $200,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the park district's cost would be $508,031.
"We've been talking about this for 15 years at least," Palatine park board member John "Jay" Cozza said.
After completion of a bridge inspection report in 2015, two spans over Salt Creek were identified as nearing the end of useful life, according to the park district's grant application.
Plans call for realigning and replacing the bridges over Salt Creek. The work would include fixing the bridges' abutments, replacing sections of the trail and creating an 8-foot width between rails.
Superintendent of Parks and Planning Jim Holder said the village of Palatine also must grant final approval for the project. He said work might begin in seven weeks at the earliest, provided the village gives the OK.
Holder said the path would be closed possibly up to six weeks in the area of the work.
"With construction chain link there, nobody can just rip it down and get through," he said.
Initial construction of Palatine Trail went from 1972 to 1974, according to the park district. Extensions were built periodically from 1987 to 2007.
Holder said a trail detour would begin near Ashwood Park and lead bicyclists and pedestrians east to Carpenter Drive and a traffic signal that meets Hicks Road. The users would reconnect with the trail on the east side of Hicks.
Schaefges Brothers Inc. of Wheeling would do the bulk of the work for not more than $677,186. Officials said the district hired Schaefges for previous projects including a Family Aquatic Center renovation and construction of Eagle Park.